Back in the day, Nickelodeon was the shit. And I mean The. Shit. Its magazine was dope, its Gak was crazy, and its shows were some of the best television events in the history of ever.
And if you were a kid growing up in the ’90s, you most definitely wanted to be on one of the following shows: Guts, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare, Figure It Out, What Would You Do?, and/or Wild & Crazy Kids. And if you didn’t want to be on one of those shows, you were probably picked last in kickball and should work on your hand-eye coordination.
Anyway, after spending way too much time thinking about the above programming, I’m ready to impart some practical wisdom onto the world. So let’s take a look at the 10 Things That Make a Nickelodeon Champion:
1. Don’t fuck up the Shrine of the Silver Monkey.
You would think arranging a three-piece monkey statue would be a simple task, but it is apparently the most difficult mission in the world. It’s like The Da Vinci Code for kids, only not that hard to solve. Seriously, you guys, IT’S THREE F*CKING PIECES!
2. Remember to hit all the actuators on the Aggro Crag.
Pop quiz: What’s the toughest part about scaling the Super Ultra Mega Aggro Crag? Answer: The actuators.
Sure, the avalanche of boulders was intimidating, but those boulders were probably fake. The light-‘em-up actuators, on the other hand, were all too real. And for some reason, “Bobby in blue” would blindly race up the mountain and inevitably miss one of those bad boys, forcing him to climb back down and do it all over again.
You’re so stupid, Bobby!
3. Be on the Silver Snakes or the Blue Barracudas.
If you were on the Purple Parrots, you might as well just give up at The Moat stage, collect your chocolate milk, and go home, because there was no chance of you winning this thing. Everybody knows the Silver Snakes and Blue Barracudas were the only teams to ever complete the Temple Run and collect the grand prize.
There aren’t any stats to back up that statement, but we can all agree that it is, indeed, very true.
4. Don’t panic in the pool.
This cannot be stressed enough. Do. Not. Panic. In The. Pool. Seriously, y’all. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen an alleged “athlete” fall victim to the waves of the Guts waters.
And you don’t even need to be skilled in paddling to finish at the top. All you need to do is complete any water event in under, like, eight minutes and you’ll be in good shape.
5. Listen and pay attention.
Just look at this kid. He’s raising his hand on the Steps of Knowledge, as if this were some kind of classroom or something. Ain’t nobody got time for that. This is a competition, little man. Manners have no place on the battlefield. You would know that if you were paying attention.
Also, listening is important because sometimes you have to answer questions and whatnot.
6. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty.
Fans of Double Dare can attest to this, but it’s just a good rule, in general. If you’re partaking in a physical challenge, you need to be prepared to get sloppy. That kiddie pool filled with spaghetti? Yeah, there’s a ribbon in there that you need to retrieve. And it is buried in the middle, so you’d better dive in, partner.
They give you a helmet for a reason…
7. Run fast.
The majority of the events in these shows revolve around one common denominator: beating the clock. Everything is timed. Everything. So if you don’t move quickly, you will fail. But don’t confuse this notion with running recklessly. That is also no bueno. A quick pace with calculated movements will pay off in the long run. Or short run. Any run, actually. Just run fast, please.
8. Don’t rush your shots.
While speed is important and throwing Nerf balls all over the place is certainly fun, it will not win you any points — which, in case you didn’t know, is the entire objective of the game.
Quality shots will always reign supreme in the Land of Nickelodeon. Especially when everyone else is rushing to get rid of as many balls as they can. Take a few extra seconds, aim at your target, and you will come out victorious.
(Check out the concentration in the eyes of the girl in red. Guarantee she won that event.)
9. Have a super-sweet nickname.
“Stephanie” has never won anything on Nickelodeon. But “Stormin’ Stephanie”? That girl has a room full of gold medals, boom boxes, and LA Gear high-tops, courtesy of Nickelodeon Studios.
Simply put, having a nickname makes you better. And alliteration is always encouraged.
(Side note: “Mean” is not a super-sweet nickname. Also, “Slam Dunker”? A.J., you make me laugh.)
10. Have fun out there.
This will likely be your one chance to be on TV, so you might as well have fun with it. Just kidding. Never do that. This is a competition, and you need to treat it as such. Because do you know what’s really fun? Winning. And running around the arena with your nation’s flag acting as your cape. But you will never have that chance if you treat this like recess.